Solar Panels Permitted Development Rights

On November 30, 2023, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DCLG) announced significant amendments to the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO).

These revisions expand the rights for the installation of solar arrays without the need for planning permission. The updated GPDO has been presented to Parliament and is scheduled to take effect on December 21st.

Domestic Solar Panels:

The current system only allows solar panels on pitched roofs. The proposed changes will extend permitted development to flat roofs.

Within Conservation Areas and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Prior Approval is required from the Local Planning Authority.  This allows Local Authorities to consider the appearance of the proposed array upon the locality.  

Non-Domestic Solar Panels:

The current 1 MW limit is to be removed, (thus no upper limit will apply), it remains the case that Prior Approval from the Local Authority is required where the array generating capacity exceeds 50 kilowatts.

The changes will however allow (Subject to Prior Approval) solar panels to be installed on roof slopes that front highways within conservation areas and areas of outstanding beauty.

In all cases planning and listed building consent is required for all Listed Buildings (commercial and residential).  

Nature of Changes:

The changes apply to sites in England only, for sites outside of England, different permitted rights apply.


In response David Jones, Managing Director and Head of Planning at Evans Jones Ltd commented that: “The proposed changes expand the size of solar array and type of building upon which photovoltaics may be installed either without the need for planning permission or subject to the simplified prior approval procedure.  

The changes demonstrate the government’s commitment to expanding solar PV and as far as practicable taking this outside of normal planning controls.  Our renewables team at Evans Jones can advise upon the requirements for approval and/or the site-specific limitations which apply to any given project”.    Please contact the team should you be considering a renewable project.

About Us:

Evans Jones is a construction consultancy, with offices in Cheltenham, Reading and London which has been in practice for over 50 years. Evans Jones provides professional consultancy services to the commercial sector in the areas of Town Planning, Construction, Development, Building ConsultancyDisabled Access Consultancy (Equality Act) and legal obligations associated with construction and development. 

Clients include: Ashford District Council, HSBC, Travelodge, NFU Mutual, British Airways, UCAS, University of Gloucestershire, Liverpool City Council, NHS Foundation, Clarks Shoes, Bovis Homes, Midcounties Co-Operative, British Waterways, Severn Trent Water, Crest Nicholson, Cheltenham College and Cheltenham Ladies College

Posted by: on